Whether it's a quick mini-session or a family portrait for your holiday cards most parents feel a little bit of dread when it comes to getting their kids to pose perfectly during a photo shoot. Kids are curious, energized and often more interested in doing what they want whenever they want. While kids will be kids there are a few tricks you can use to help prepare them for your family portrait session so your shoot goes smoothly.
Schedule the Shoot Around Nap and Meal Times
When you schedule your shoot make sure it doesn't interfere with regular nap times or meals. A child that is tired or hungry will be less cooperative than one who is well rested and fed. Plan your shoot after naps or meals, if you are planning on taking everyone out to eat after the shoot then at least make sure they have had some kind of snack prior to the shoot.
Make it A Big Deal for Them
In the weeks leading up to the shoot, you want to start getting them excited about it. Try to make it seem like it is a special activity you planned just for them. Let them dress up and practice posing in the mirror so they have a better idea of what to expect on the day of the shoot. Younger kids can be easier to do this with but by letting them pick out their own special outfit, having their hair done and really making it fun for them.
Bring Props or Games
Keeping your kids happy and entertained during the shoot can be a struggle so if your child has a favorite toy or blanket then bring it along with you. There may be times in the shoot that they can take some comfort in having something familiar to hold while their picture is being taken, especially if your child tends to be on the shy side.
The most important thing is to have fun. Drop your expectation of having the “perfect” family portrait taken and instead allow your true selves to shine through. No photo shoot goes according to plan but if you remind yourself to just have fun you will be happier with the results than you could have imagined.
Award-winning portrait photographer Shannon Edney's photos have been featured on multiple magazine covers with photos published in print and digital advertisements around the world. Based out of Missoula, Montana, Shannon specializes in portrait photography showcasing people, dogs, and horses (all breeds, with a focus on the Arabian horse). Shannon is known for her ability to catch the perfect expression and capture her subjects in unique lighting, resulting in portraits rich in artistry that will be treasured for years to come.